I'm a happy Medallion flier with Delta. However, this year's post-Holy Week/Easter time away required a reasonably priced one-way ticket up to Washington Dulles on Easter Monday morning. Delta was exorbitant. Southwest was about half the cost, for an 8:50 am departure. So, I signed up for a Rapid Rewards account and purchased the ticket ...
Getting to the airport for an early morning departure from the Northside isn't easy, especially given the recent, um, traffic troubles plaguing the ATL. I opted for MARTA. A smooth 40 min ride from Northsprings and I was at the Airport Metro station, at about 7:00 am, a little under two hours prior to departure. I'd already checked in just about 24 hours hour prior, and printed out my boarding pass, receiving position B-43 in Southwest's first-come-first-served check-in-process, as well as TSA Precheck (that's part of the Global Entry program). Not 10 minutes later, I'd dropped my check-in bag off (no charge!) ... and then I saw the humongous line at the TSA Precheck line. Like, serpentine. Ginormous. It took 25 minutes to get to the front, to the TSA agent checking IDs, and less than 5 minutes for the actual screening. I'm not used to flying out of Hartsfield Jackson this early, so this was a definite first.
|The entrance to the Club at ATL. Not worth it.|
|Southwest's efficient boarding process.|
|View from the seat ...|
All in all, for shorter flights, I could totally see myself using Southwest. Efficient, friendly, service. Decent on-board product. Yeah, no upgrades, but they're often cheaper or much cheaper than Delta. Besides, there's two free checked bags (remember when this was standard?), TSA Precheck, and an efficient boarding process. One could pay to get priority boarding. I don't generally drink on flights, so that's not an issue either. If it weren't for the other perks of Medallion status, especially internationally, or for longer flights, 9W would be a serious contender!